Living in the North, it’s sometimes easy to forget the mystical beauty that lies right at our doorstep – and with a never-ending offering of picturesque sights, it’s sacrilege to not give it the attention it deserves. Which brings me onto the historic Peak District. Dominating the centre of England and spanning five whole counties (including Yorkshire), the Peak District has endless countryside to discover, with natural attractions coming out of its ears (well, if it had any). From the famous Kinder Scout to lesser-known beauty spots, we’ve rounded up the best waterfalls in the Peak District.
Easiest to access from Edale, Kinder Downfall – by the popular Kinder Scout – is the tallest waterfall in the Peak District, featuring a 30-metre height that the endless water cascades from. Experience it as part of the Hayfield circular route (3 hours) or embark on the 3 hour return journey from Edale to Kinder Scout. The Edale journey is more straight to the point, but for those looking to tick off a few more sights, the Hayfield circular is the best option.
A wonderfully historic spot, Lumsdale features several 17th century mill buildings, which were previously powered by the nearby water features such as Bentley Brook. The ruins are a brilliant sight to see, but the real highlight is the Falls – which delicately run through the photogenic Lumsdale Valley. The walk from the Matlock area is just 2.5 miles, making it ideal for most abilities.
Panniers Pool and the Three Shires Head is a truly breathtaking spot, and it’s also right where Cheshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire meet. While the attraction is incredibly beautiful, this one isn’t a simple one to access, with a lot of rough ground to tread – not ideal if you’re unsteady on your feet. When you do arrive, however, it’s worth the boggy trek, with a stone packhorse bridge greeting you and Panniers Pool, which horses would drink from as they passed the county lines, glistening in all of its glory. Under the bridge you’ll find a modest step where the water falls down creating a small waterfall, before swerving around rocks to run into a stream. This 2 and a half hour walk is best started in Macclesfield, and best ended with a cheeky dip in the pool.
Often described as “magical”, Padley Gorge is one of the best walks for families, coming in at just two hours when starting at the Longshaw estate in Sheffield. The route takes visitors across a wooden bridge over Burbage Brook (very storybook-like for the kids), before emerging Padley Gorge – our final destination. Think rock pools, gentle streams and beautiful waterfalls as you trek on towards your destination, with picnic and paddling spots galore.
One we don’t need to cross into Derbyshire for, Rivelin Valley is a linking point for Sheffield to the Peak District and is the perfect walking trail for those looking to spot pretty waterfalls along the way. Walk the whole 2 mile route starting around Rivelin Park, before discovering the Rivelin Dams, the Wyming Brook and the Redmires reservoirs – the latter of which includes a circular walk edging onto the Peak District.